Join the 60-for-60 Mission to Celebrate International Literacy Day

September 8th is International Literacy Day. Coincidentally, September 8th is also the date for the first Literacy Leadership Team meeting at one of my schools. Today, I spent some time researching activities and ideas for International Literacy Day (#IDL14 on Twitter).


The International Reading Association has a campaign entitled “Lift Off to Literacy.” The challenge is engage students in sixty extra seconds of literacy activities for 60 days. If you commit to their pledge by clicking the Get the Kit link, you will receive several ideas for one-minute activities divided by grade levels. It only takes a minute to take the pledge.

Many of the activities deal with the theme of space because astronaut Kjell Lindgren. He explains the 60-for60 mission in this brief video.

Here is a sample of the ideas in the kit.

For all students: Start each day/class with a sixty-second read-aloud.

Ages 4-8: My Unique Alphabet Chart. Assign a letter for the day, and ask students to brainstorm words that start with that letter and are space-related or describe what it might be like in space.

Ages 9-11: Space Logbook. Begin a tale of space adventure! Each day, individually or as a class, create a new sentence for your space adventure. Four days a week, write one sentence to continue your story and the fifth day, illustrate that four-sentence section. This process will strengthen the ability to recall information that was created the days before.

Ages 12-14: Vocabulary Gradient. Choose two words that are opposites. For each of those choose three to five synonyms. For example, happy and sad are opposites. Synonyms for each could be pleased, peppy, ecstatic, down, forsaken, and miserable. Have students arrange the words to create a continuum that takes you from one opposite to the other. Students must discuss their reasoning as they arrange. This activity helps students think about shades of meaning

Ages 15+: Short and Tweet. Ask students to read up on scientific research conducted in space or scientific improvements as a result of space exploration and bring the information to class. Each day choose one story to feature and, as a class, craft a tweet about what the students have learned. Twitter’s 140 character limit will push students to really narrow their synopsis.

I’d love to hear what you use with your students (or your children, if you’re a parent). Please share in the comments.

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